The Life of a Sweater

Hello again and yes its been a while since I posted anything on the blog!  We have had a rather hectic summer which included going back the UK for a fabulous wedding and then coming back to the sandpit for a few weeks before jetting (well that was a loooong story!) off to Bali for what is likely to be our last family holiday together since Flo will be leaving the UAE and heading home to the UK to attend Bath University!  I am so proud of her, she's going to study International Education - she'll make a fab teacher - nothing at all to do with her being extremely bossy (nope nothing at all!)

Anyway I think I will leave my travels to another blog post as this time I want to concentrate on the story of my Gemini sweater!

For this particular project the inspiration was most definitely the yarn!  As you well know I am a big fan of podcasts (they keep me sane during my horrific journey into work every day!) and I was really drawn to a yarn mentioned by the lovely Louise from Knit British - the Lyonesse Yarn by Blacker .

This yarn seemed to sing to me given its 50% Corriedale and 50% Linen - this could actually be something I could wear here in Abu Dhabi!  So with plenty of social media encouragement (you guys are such enablers!!!) I went ahead and ordered from the newly established Brit Yarn and asked Isla to send to my brother's address so that I could collect it when I went back to the UK.

I ordered 7 skeins in the Ruby colourway and was so excited to open them when I got home!

Beautifully presented with a lovely stitch marker and message from Isla!

The Gemini pattern is a lovely T-shirt pattern from Knitty Spring Summer 2012 and I think was the perfect pattern for this yarn as it calls for a linen blend!  I of course checked out Ravelry and there are some lovely projects!  What I particularly liked was the fact that it suited all shapes and sizes and for me thats a big plus - I often fall for patterns modelled on a beautiful size 10 with skinny arms which does not really translate to my size 14 with arms more akin to tree trunks!!!

The pattern is written really well and the sweater really is a breeze to knit. Before we went on holiday, work was as usual manic and I am usually out at work for 11 hours a day so progress can be slow due to lack of time and exhaustion :)  I think I probably could have finished it in a couple of weeks if work had not got into the way!! Oh and yes I did a swatch!!!!!

I loved the shape and pattern of the neck - its designed so that you can wear it with the pattern at the front or the back - stroke of genius!

Spot the colour co-ordinated stitch marker which I used to mark the front!

So I was almost half way down the body when we went to Bali and I decided not to take it with me because by now it was quite heavy!  The weather in Bali is always on the humid side and I thought it was probably not the best project to take.  In hindsight, given that my husband sat in a cocktail induced stupor on my knitting bag and broke the needles of the project I DID take - it would probably have been better to have packed it!!

I am back to the UK at the end of September for a few days and I foolishly thought it would be great to finish this and take it - until Flo pointed out that end of September in the UK is probably going to be cold and people will point and laugh!!  Anyway I have been so happy with the project that I have now finished it!

I had one minor slip up - binding off the 1x1 ribbing...... I bound off as normal but it was way too tight so I went back and undid it all and re-bound of using Jeny's stretchy bind off as demonstrated by Cat Bordi HERE and this was much much better!

The yarn surprisingly bled a lot during soaking which was odd since there was no transfer onto my hands when I washed it!  Anyway with a few rinses and a rolling in my special blocking towel ( freebie which came with some Paul Smith aftershave!!!), a light pinning and out into the 45 degree heat to dry!  The only time in which the heat in an Abu Dhabi summer is useful is when drying knitwear!!!

I have to say that this is one of the sweaters I think I will get the most wear from.  It fits like a dream - and I am renowned for making things which don't quite fit!!!!  The colour is lovely and the drape is nice, although still retains quite a bit of structure.  I took some indoor pics when it was dry and they are more indicative of the colour - its a definite Ruby, but with a faded feel!  I think the photos below are a little bit light - its pretty much the same colour as the original yarn. Overall I would give the pattern and the yarn a 10/10.

Recently I have been inspired by Helen of Curious Handmade's project to have a more handmade wardrobe in her Wardrobe Challenge and this I think is definitely my first contribution!

Front Detail

Back Detail

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